Buzz

MONORAIL

Clise Properties' Chief Operating Officer Richard Stevenson, recently nominated for an appointment to the Seattle Monorail Project board, isn't just a big downtown player whose company owns property near the monorail line. He's also a landlordfor the Seattle Monorail Project. Stevenson's employer, which owns four other downtown high-rise properties, cut a sweet deal with the monorail agency early on, giving it 6,500 square feet in the Securities Building rent-free after last November's election. When the monorail agency moved into its permanent digs in the same building, it agreed to pay $14.75 per square foot, increasing annually until 2013an impressive bargain compared with downtown's current average of $27.70 per square foot. For now, the monorail is still operating rent-free: The project won't have to pay anything until its permanent offices are completed sometime in March, according to spokesperson Paul Bergman.

Morgan Junction businesses and residents are reportedly worried about a proposal by the monorail project to store trains at the junction station, to be located somewhere around the intersection of Fauntleroy Way Southwest and Southwest Morgan Street. Monorail spokesperson Bergman says any "backup monorail" trains kept near the station would be stored there temporarily, either on an extended track reaching beyond the station or inside the station itself. But storing monorails at the nexus of junction traffic could overcrowd an already dense neighborhood where parking is at a premium.

MONKEYS

Animal rights group Stop Animal Exploitation NOW last week alleged that the Washington National Primate Research Center at the University of Washington was violating federal law by underreporting the number of monkeys it uses for experiments to the United States Department of Agriculture, which regulates the use of animals for biomedical research. The animal rightists claim the center undercounted the monkeys by 2,100 over three years; if true, the alleged misreporting could call the center's overall credibility into question. The USDA says it will look into the matter.

TENT CITY

The Tent City homeless encampment is supposed to make people uncomfortablea big part of its mission is to raise awareness of the limited options for homeless men and women in Seattle. So it's somewhat appropriate that Tent City's summer home will likely be in one of the city's toniest neighborhoods: east Capitol Hill, at the landmark St. Joseph's Catholic Church. "I don't think [Tent City] has ever been this close" to its neighbors, pastoral administrator Steve Wodzanowski says. "We're right smack in the middle of a residential, high-end neighborhood. We don't have a lot of homeless people coming here."

MEDIA

After months of internal debate, the financially shaky Fisher Broadcasting, parent of KOMO-TV, turned down two purchase offers last week and announced it intends to keep the company operating as it is. The company also announced a $2 million loss for 2002.

ebarnett@seattleweekly.com

 
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